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 December 9, 2023   
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ID: 2001
Autograph signed letter to author Sewell Stokes.
SASSOON, Siegfried


No publisher..

One page; 8vo. Autograph letter signed by Siegfried Sassoon. Dated 10th October but no year given, though probably dates from the 1920s, when Sewell Stokes wrote a number of character sketches of artistic and literary figures. In the letter Sassoon defends the reputation of his friend and mentor Robert Ross. He begins the letter "I think you were unwise to put the anecdote in your book". Sassoon continues "I certainly lost my temper in Hatchard's shop when I saw a pile of copies of the book which contained slanders of Robert Ross (who was one of the best book buyers at Hatchard's for many years)." Robert Ross (1869-1918) was a Canadian literary journalist and patron of arts, and friend of Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen. Ross was openly homosexual and thought to have been Oscar Wilde's first male lover and eventually became his literary executor. Ross saw a good deal of Sassoon during the autumn of 1916 and became in affect his chief literary advisor and one of his closest friends. He more than anyone had encouraged Sassoon's anti-war stance and advanced his career by introducing him to many influential figures, such as H.G. Wells and Arnold Bennett. Sewell later wrote a play and screenplay on the life of Oscar Wild, in which Ross is a key character. I have not been able to establish what the anecdote was but at the end of the letter Sassoon states that Sewell had agreed to withdraw the paragraph. It is not clear whether this was a direct result of pressure from him. Sassoon believed that Ross had been hounded to his death and remained devoted to his memory. Fine. Price £500.00

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